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Royal Opera House Live: Macbeth (12A)

An image of Macbeth from the Royal Opera House

Phyllida Lloyd adapts Verdi's celebrated opera for The Royal Opera House.

The warrior Macbeth (Željko Lučić) fights on the side of the King of Scotland – but when a coven of witches prophesy that he shall become king himself, a ruthless ambition drives Macbeth and his wife to horrific acts. Murder makes Macbeth king, and intrigue and butchery are the hallmarks of his brief, doomed reign. The witches make another prediction, which also comes true: Macbeth and his lady lose their lives, and justice is restored.

Phyllida Lloyd’s 2002 production for The Royal Opera is richly hued, shot through with black, red and gold. The witches – imagined by designer Anthony Ward as strange, scarlet-turbaned creatures – are ever-present agents of fate. Lloyd depicts the Macbeths’ childlessness as the dark sadness lurking behind their terrible deeds. The Royal Opera’s production uses Verdi’s 1865 Paris revision of the opera, which includes Lady Macbeth’s riveting aria ‘La luce langue’.

Running time 3 hours 20 minutes, including one interval
Sung in Italian with English subtitles


Barbican Cinema 2